Ben-Eliezer calls on Halutz to resign
Report claims army chief would leave post if Peretz doesn't okay appointments.
By JOSH BRANNON, JPOST.COM STAFF
November 2, 2006 12:48
1 minute read.
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A senior IDF officer denied a report claiming the Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz plans to quit if Defense Minister Amir Peretz does not authorize his recent General Staff appointments involving officers who commanded divisions on the ground during the summer war in Lebanon.
The officer, according to Israel Radio, called the report "nonsense." He claimed there was no tension between Halutz and Peretz and that the latter was in the loop throughout the process.
The second Lebanon war: JPost.com special report
Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor) called on Halutz to resign. In an interview on Israel Radio, Ben-Eliezer said Halutz failed in his handling of the war and was not the right person to rehabilitate the IDF.
The Labor minister added that Halutz should have consulted with Peretz before going public with the round of controversial appointments.
A panel headed by Halutz had decided to promote Brig.-Gen. Gal Hirsch to head the staff's Strategic Command unit. Brigadier Generals Erez Zuckerman and Eyal Eizenberg will remain in command of the reserves' armored and paratrooper divisions, respectively.
It was decided that Brig.-Gen. Guy Tzur will be transferred to command a major ground forces training base in the South.
A statement released by the IDF's Spokesman's Office said the main considerations in the appointments were "operational command ability and management on the battlefield; stability among the forces; providing support to officers, especially those who took part in the fighting; and striking an optimal balance between the needs of the defense establishment and the desires of the commanders."
Following the results of the divisional-level investigations submitted to the panel last week, harsh criticism was leveled at all four brigadier generals - Hirsch of the Galilee Division, Tzur of Division 162, Zuckerman of the reserve armored division, and Eizenberg, commander of the crack Utzbat Haesh reserve paratrooper division.
The generally positive outcome for the four division commanders came as a surprise following allegations of poor management in the war against Hizbullah.